Tom Regan was Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina (USA). During his more than thirty years on the faculty, he received numerous awards for excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching; was named University Alumni Distinguished Professor; published hundreds of professional papers and more than twenty books; won major international awards for film writing and direction; and presented hundreds of lectures throughout the United States and abroad. In 2000, he received the William Quarles Holliday Medal, the highest honor NC State University can bestow on one of its faculty.
Among his books, two (The Case for Animal Rights and Bloomsbury’s Prophet: G. E. Moore and the Development of his Moral Philosophy) were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
The Case for Animal Rights was immediately recognized as a “modern classic” when it first appeared in 1983. “Unquestionably the best work yet to appear in its field,” one reviewer wrote; “beyond question the most important philosophical contribution to animal rights,” wrote a second; “(b)y far the best work on the subject, and will continue to be the definitive work for years to come” wrote a third. Already translated into Italian, Swedish, and Dutch, The Case for Animal Rights was issued in German and Chinese editions in 2003.
Other of Tom Regan’s books that touch on the topic of animal rights are All That Dwell Therein: Essays on Animal Rights and Environmental Ethics (1982); Animal Sacrifices: Religious Perspectives on the Use of Animals in Science (1986), The Struggle for Animal Rights (1987), The Thee Generation: Reflections on the Coming Revolution (1991), Defending Animal Rights (2001; University of Illinois Press) and (with Carl Cohen) The Animal Rights Debate (2001; Rowman Littlefield). He is universally recognized as the intellectual leader of the animal rights movement.
For its part, Bloomsbury’s Prophet has helped reenergize and redirect Moorean scholarship in particular and the study of early twentieth century British philosophy in general. Examples of the critical response the book received include: ”(A) scholarly masterpiece”; “scholarly but engrossing”; “enlightening about the early Moore and a pleasure to read”; “a shrewd, often witty and insightful look at G. E. Moore’s philosophy and his world . . . A must for intelligent readers of literature”; and “(the) portrait of the man Moore that Regan gives us is unqiue in the growing body of Edwardian literature.”
In addition to Bloomsbury’s Prophet, Tom Regan’s other major contributions to Moorean scholarship are Moore: The Early Essays (1987) and G.E. Moore: The Elements of Ethics (1991). He is co-founder and past president of the Moore Society.
Tom Regan’s major film awards include the Silver Medal for We Are All Noah (International Film Festival of New York, 1986) and the Gold Medal for Voices I Have Heard (Houston International Film Festival, 1988).
Tom Regan passed away on February 17, 2017. He was married to the former Nancy Tirk, with whom he co-founded The Culture and Animals Foundation. They had two wonderful children, a son, Bryan, who is a photographer living in Raleigh, and a daughter, Karen, who is Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as well as the grandparents of Hannah, Brooke, Anna Drew, and Miles.